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I think the government should add taxes to bring the price up to around $5.00 a gallon, that's the single biggest step they could take to reduce congestion and emissions while at the same time fund needed repairs to a national highway infrastructure that was built in the 50's and 60's.



All this nonesense about biodiesel and corn oil-electric cars is a smoke screen to let Detroit keep from facing reality that the jig is up on giant enviromental sh*t-bombs like Excursions and Hummers.



We don't need to endlessly reinvent the wheel with expensive and ultimately impractical technology when there is a raft of cars available now that get milage up in the 40's and 50's with gas or diesel engines, all we have to do is import them untill the big three get off their dead ass's and start building them. While I hate to agree with Kay-Pee I think he's right in one respect, $3.00 a gallon is the new low, not an arbitrary spike. The reality is the rest of the indusrtialized world has already figured out that small cars are the way to go, coupled with efficient mass transit like trains and bus's into and around cities.



With the way our cities are laid out with people living in suburburban rings around cities instead of in the city itself comuting is a fact of life for a large percent of the working population but that comute can be a lot more efficient than it is now. Twice as many smaller cars can fit on a given space than single occupant large vehicles, they do less damage to the road surfaces than large vehicles and they use half the fuel, by encoureging people to drive smaller vehicles with a tax breaks on their purchase and license fee's for a higher milage vehicle, then increasing the tax on gas we'd have a natural and steady shift towards smaller cars plus the additional tax on fuel, even though we'd be using less fuel overall, would pay for construction and upkeep of our infrastructure.



As motorcyclist this would benefit us in a number of ways, chiefly by increasing our height relitive to the other vehicles on the road. A recent study in MCN showed that taller vehicles are significantly more likely to kill us in a collision because the impact area is on our torso's and internal organs, whereas with a collision with a smaller vehicle the bike and our legs take the hit resulting in a much higher survivability ratio.



Now obviously no wants to get hit at all, but if worse came to worse I'd rather loose a leg than have my guts scrambled, and yes, we all would be safer driving Volvo's but let's put that aside for now and assume we're stupid enough to ride motorcycles and still wish to live a long and happy life. Being taller relitive to the traffic mix also helps us see and be seen and would even make lane splitting easier because the gaps between lanes would be larger.



The answer is already there in front of us with vehicles that are available to 99% of the industrialized world, we don't need a massive technological shift away from internal combustion, we just need to move with the times and realize that the days of driving land yachts are as dead as the dinosaur mush that propels them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Excellent Post

I totally agree. If you factor the cost of defending middle east oil... your idea makes a lot of sense.. Well said.. Of course my endorsement could be the kiss of death on this board..:)
 

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Didn't we get enough of the Kbioweasel Manifesto yesterday?



I can get all the gas-prices-skyrocketting-we're-all-gonna-die-and-I-love-seeing- people-suffer spewm on a virtual infinty of non-motorcycle websites.
 

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Can't say that I agree with any of the comments on this thread so far (at least not in whole).

I think there's a basic fallacy in comparing the price of gas to the minimum wage, because minimum wage is a pretty arbitrary value set by the government. Even if the legislators tied it to inflation (I'm not sure if they have or not), it wasn't always that way, hence it is not a valid baseline.

- Minimum wage does not set the value of money -

If I'm not mistaken, ksquid's link shows that gas prices are close to their all time high, but not there yet (the blue line is the one adjusted for constant-value dollars). I would also assume that the data points on those lines are the national averages for the given years; your local, yearly high (summer) prices do not make for an apples-to-apples comparison.

I do agree with Sarnali that smaller, lighter cars would make a great solution. Some of the car companies have seen this coming after last summer and are now offering models that have been best sellers in Europe (the Toyota Yaris and Honda Fit). Many people justify bigger cars for safety reasons, but they wouldn't have to worry about getting hit by big SUVs if they weren't driving so many big SUVs! (Heller would appreciate this last point)

However, I can't support fattening up our government any more that it already is. For this country to stay strong we need it to get into shape as badly as many of its citizens do. For me, higher gas tax is out; otherwise I'm on board with Sarnali.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: Excellent Post

soy bean and canola (rape seed) are the largest sources of biodiesel.. David perhaps you are confusing biodiesel with methanol.. Yes corn is the perdominant source of methanol.. Howerver, biodiesel can be made from ocean algae, corn, soy, sunflower seeds, etc.. That is why folks are saying it is better than methanol.. It also burns cleaner that petro diesel.. David I don't get pissed off usually, sometimes I lose my patience wiith folks who find math and science difficult. However, losing my patience is my fault not theirs.. I lose my temper when folks attack me personally..But again losing my temper is my problem.. "Be angry but don't sin" Jesus said... I know new ideas and thinking are almost always met with resistance and sometimes irrational fear... David I read most of your posts and I respect your views.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Actually...

In Seattle gas prices in 2006 dollars are averaging $3.16 in in California $3.38 So if we discount to 2005 dollars show in the chart I posted we get $3.065 or rougly 307 cents.. which is higher that the 298.9 cents adjusted price in 1981..California price in 2005 dollars would be 327 cents..much higher than the record price set in 1981
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
P.S.

My internet gets turned off today. Moving to new house...So I won't be posting till the 5th..Have a good holiday.
 

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Re: P.S.

Corn as the source of methanol is a bad idea. The petrol input to create a bushel of corn is staggering. Sorry Iowa, sorry Cargill, let's hope the politicians aren't ..... Never mind what was I thinking.
 

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I was thinking of driving to Washington and shaking an empty gas can at the White House. That should take care of any problem pronto. How about finding ways to buy less gasoline, and then maybe everyone could quit crying about it? Maybe? I think I'd have to go to Kindercare to find a larger bunch of whiners in one place. Give it a break already Chicken Little.
 

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I have an idea

Why don't we cut back on defense spending? It's just over half the federal budget, last I checked. There's ample fat in there to allow for decreasing the overall size of gov't right along with increasing the gov't around building on alternatives.

I don't particularly understand the urge to make gov't smaller except when it comes to pointless military experiments (missile defense) and failed attempts at nation building. Maybe it's just me.
 

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Those of us who are old enough to remember recognize that Japan's initiation of World War II was all about natural resources, because as a nation that had none, but could add value to what they could get, their survival depended upon and endless supply of resources they did not have.



Now come a burgeoning India and China (the sleeping giant), seeing massive industrial growth and equally demanding of natural resources such as petroleum. If anybody in their right mind thinks gasoline prices are going down they are out of touch with the reality of the situation.



The imposition of any kind of taxes on gasoline hurt only the consumer, enrich the taxing authority, and contribute to an inflationary spiral, and at the end of the day do nothing but hurt the economy, and have relatively minor impact on the choices manufacturers and consumers make in the world of automobiles.



As a 45 year veteran of the Detroit automotive world I see hybrid/clean diesel as a potential part of the solution. Hydrogen is a ways off with the only sensible approach being nuclear power plant electrical hydrolysis, but held back by massive infrastructure redevelopment costs.



Frankly, I would like to see the government take a "Manhattan Project" approach to the overall energy issue. At the end of the day, nothing is manufactured or moved without energy and we are on the verge of a massive world wide crisis and international struggle for a resource whose days are numbered.



We have seen, in the last century, the political quagmires created as nations grapple with the energy supply equation, and the strange bedfellow international relationships that come about. Siberian oil, north slope oil, coal, nuclear power become chess pieces on a board of international desparation with conflict looming as the only answer that politicos seem to understand.



There is no rational domestic energy policy within the current administration, and an apparent inability to address the reality and magnitude of the problem and all of its ramifications if we continue "steaming as before."



A major national, and even worlwide initiative is required, with automakers and petroleum monopolies participating for their own survival.



It is not the time for punitive tax measures or half-assed incentives, but is time for an all out mobilization of the nation's best scientific and manufacturing resources inan effort to resolve what could be a "nation stopper."



Yes, getting more folks on scooters and motorcycles is a great idea, but only delays the inevitable.



It is time for all of us to get serious, folks, and time for us to get our representatives and senators and government serious.
 

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If gasoline were priced without any of the government subsidies the actual cost would be about $15 per gallon to the consumer. Gasoline is actually cheaper than it should be. There are technologies out there, one particularly is in operation, that can reduce the need for crude oil (look up anything into oil, or read the April edition of Discover magazine). Even if that technology proves out as they scale it up we are still long years away from enough of the plants to really make a difference.



Refinery capacity is at the limit right now, but building a refinery is a difficult thing to do. NIMBY, you know.



When gasoline is the cheapest fluid you can buy at the local gas and convenience store I can't get excited about the cost per gallon. Water costs more, fer cryin' out loud.
 

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Re: Actually...

I have to fly a BS flag on this one. You must have overlooked my apples-to-apples statement. The data on that chart is based on national averages, and can only be fairly compared to other national average data. I'm sure that in 1981, California saw more than 298.9 at the pump, as its gas prices are always higher than average.

Statistics have got to be one of the most dangerous and evil things on the planet. They can be distorted and manipulated to make any kind of point you want, and most people are too scared of math to try and see through the BS.

Curse them for tainting something so pure and innocent as math... though I'm not sure who 'they' are.
 

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Here is a novel idea... live close(r) to work and ride your bicycle. Revert back to the European lifestyle with multiple generations living in the same household. Ride a bicycle to work, and save your discretionary income for racking up stress-reducing miles on your brand new motorcycle (funded by the money NOT spent on owning an automobile)! Two wheels are better than four. BTW, did you all see the head of Michelin died in a boating accident? Hmmm, he might have been safer on the road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You're correct

The same article that I took the WA and CA prices said the natioanl 2006 dollars price was $2.91 which translates to $2.82 in 2005 dollars. 282 cents so it's not quite at the record..My apologies..I am sure it will surpase the record by summer though..
 

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Re: I have an idea

I'm on the receiving end of some of that defense spending, so I'm definitely aware of how it is spent. I whole-heartedly agree that some of it could be put to much better use had it never been taxed in the first place. When I say I'd like a little less government, I expect everyone to do their fair share of belt tightening, even (especially) those that I benefit from. When it comes to defense spending, rather than just pointing out the problem and throwing stones, I feel that I am helping in some (very) small way by convincing my customers to spend their money wisely.

Maybe I'm just deluding myself though... who knows.

However, calling defense spending 50% of the budget is a gross exaggeration: more like 17% according to the Post (copy the text bellow into your address bar). Of that 17%, only 19% is for procurement of new stuff like missile defense. That's slightly more than 3% of the total budget. The rest is tied to sustainment of current bases and equipment and pay for our service men and women.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-sr...es/budget06/graphs/categoryGraphs_020705.html

Sorry I couldn't link this site, as I don't speak HTML too well yet.
 

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"I've heard some people say that if you factor in inflation, cost of living, blah-blah-blah, the current per-gallon price of gasoline is a good value when compared with previous decades."



If you're referring to the earlier bike-mileage thread, I don't recall anybody saying that.
 

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I think you're correct that it would take something on the Manhattan Project scale to really change consumtion patterns. To make electric work, you would have to have quick change stations for battery packs, like some folks have for radios that are in use 24/7.

One group that could easily use Electric cars is the government, since fleet vehicles return to the same location every evening, and could be recharged much morer easily. It think how much that has happened is a real clue about how committed anyone is to Electric.

Hydrogen may use as much energy to produce it than it realeases, which is also the case with Ethanol. about the only good ethanol does is add about 10% to the total supply of gas, and maybe help it burn cleaner.

I know nothing about the whole Brazilian sugar cane project, but I would be interested in what the actual costs are, and how much is subsidized. It still might be worth doing, but we need to know the real costs of all this stuff before we can make an informed decision
 
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